God Save SG Formula! In a repetition of Hungary in mid-June, the SG Formula team was singing the French national anthem in honour of driver Jean-Eric Vergne's victory in England. Double poleman and top points scorer at Silverstone, the Red ...
God Save SG Formula!
In a repetition of Hungary in mid-June, the SG Formula team was singing the French national anthem in honour of driver Jean-Eric Vergne's victory in England. Double poleman and top points scorer at Silverstone, the Red Bull Junior Team driver, who hails from the Paris region, eased into 3rd place in the Formula Renault 2.0 Eurocup standings while SG Formula moved to the top of the Teams championships. Hardly surprising then that there is an air of optimism in the team going into the French leg of the series in Le Mans.
The La Rochelle outfit always seems to do well on the Budapest circuit. Starting on the outside of the front line, Jean-Eric Vergne led the first race of the Hungarian event from start to finish. On the other hand, he was only in 8th place on the grid for Race 2 and things got worse when a collision ahead of him set him back quite a few places. Yet he still managed to finish 7th, lapping a lot quicker than the leaders at the end of the race. His team-mates also got good results on the Hungaroring. Spaniard Miki Monras twice finished 3rd, Ramez Azzam got his best ever Eurocup results with two Top 10 finishes and Hugo Valente bagged his first point at this level.
"We were somewhat apprehensive about the Silverstone leg because last year things had been quite difficult for us here," said team-manager Stephane Guerin. "As it turned out our results were in line with those we got in Budapest. The scrutineering inspections that have taken place recently may have calmed things down a bit in the category. For us, it is very satisfying to have shown ourselves to be so competitive on such an unforgiving circuit."
On the British Grand Prix circuit, Mika was the fastest driver in Group A and Jean-Eric was 2nd fastest in Group B. The Frenchman went on to dominate the Superpole and take the best spot on the grid for the two races. "Our car proved to be on top form with new tyres," continued Stephane Guerin, "which explains the result of Race 1. Jean-Eric led the race in the opening laps but his lap times dropped off as his tyres wore. We managed to put things right for Race 2, however." After coming 3rd on the Saturday, Jean- Eric went on to win Sunday's race and put himself back in the running for the European title crown. Miki played safe for points, picking up a 4th and a 6th place. Rookie Arthur Pic made a big impression. His best performance so far in the Eurocup took him into the Top 10 in the championship standings. Ramez Azzam also notched his best European performance so far by taking 7th place. So SG Formula had four drivers in the Top 10 in Race 2 and Hugo Valente might have joined them had he not got shunted by a rival two-thirds of the way through the race.
These results saw SG Formula move up from 3rd place and into the lead in the team standings, one point ahead of Motopark Academy and two ahead of Epsilon Euskadi. Let's not forget that Epsilon Euskadi lost out on victory in Barcelona on a technical infringement. Or that Motopark Academy had a driver excluded because, after taking Superpole and before winning race 2 in Hungary, he was adjudged to have been racing with illegal wheel bearings. Motopark Academy appealed against the decision. "When Sorensen's wheel bearings were examined they were found not to have been just slightly modified, they had been entirely rebuilt to improve the car's top speed!" added Stephane Guerin. "So that's the second time this season that technical inspections have uncovered cheating, something that sullies the reputation of what is perhaps the best championship for young drivers. Despite Renault Sport's best efforts, it seems you can't change some people's mentality. Last year we had teams lodging false claims against us. Now they themselves have been caught red-handed! That's not my idea of motor racing. We have to carry on for the sake of our drivers and sponsors, but clearly we have to ask ourselves whether it's worth continuing in Formula Renault 2.0 if people are going to behave like this."
However, no question mark hangs over the immediate future. SG Formula and its drivers will definitely be battling for victory next July 18-19 on the Bugatti circuit in Le Mans!